During his six-year tenure with the Chicago Bears, Jim McMahon helped the team to the 1985 Super Bowl championship (and made an appearance on the Super Bowl Shuffle). In the process, he took a lot of hits, leaving him with painful injuries and numerous painkiller prescriptions. Until recently, when he decided to quit pills and find a remedy that worked for him.
You guessed it, medical marijuana.
In this interview with ABC 7, McMahon speaks frankly about his use of medical marijuana and how it helps him deal with chronic pain without making him dependent.
"I was using about 100 Percocets a month when I retired and I knew I had to get off that stuff."
"I moved out to Arizona and got my medical marijuana license. It's a lot easier on my body. I can get through the day without a problem, and it doesn't have any side effects. You don't get constipated. You don't get woozy and feeling weird."
"I had to get off those pills, and this is the perfect answer for me."
While McMahon was in town to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Chicago Bears' Super Bowl win, he lives in Arizona, where he is able to get medical marijuana to treat his condition.
NFL won't let players use the 'benign healer'
The marijuana debate has heated up lately, in part because of Chandler Jones' recent admission that he used what's called "synthetic marijuana."
On Jan. 10, the New England Patriots defensive end checked into a hospital after taking an illegal drug. An unnamed source claimed that Jones had smoked "synthetic cannabis" (a.k.a. "spice" or "K2"), which isn't actually cannabis. It's dried plant matter that has been sprayed with chemicals that can replicate cannabis' calming effects, but they can also cause intense paranoia, hallucinations and confusion.
In this ESPN segment, sportswriter Dan Le Batard says the NFL's ban on cannabis is forcing players to use more risky things like synthetic marijuana. Le Batard says NFL players need pain relief because of the bruising nature of the sport, and marijuana is a safer option than some of the alternatives.
"Guys are actually doing hugely dangerous things that can fry their brain more than marijuana because of how archaic the rules are about marijuana," he says.
"You're denying [a player] the right to use this benign healer and forcing him to use the dangerous healer."